When last we wrote about Mid-City Artisans, the bright, airy, stall-filled space for artists to sell and create their work had just opened its doors. Now, owners George and Maria Harris are multiplying their offerings with the new Art Learning Center, a multi-use addition on the second floor of their Government Street location that continues to evolve.
“We were inspired by the success of our Kids Makers Market, which is a quarterly event we started in June,” says George. “We had so much space on that second floor and wanted to make full use of it, so we’ve divided it into three basic areas for distinct usages.”
Among changeable gallery walls hung with locally made art, visitors can find ample seating on wraparound coaches—or, if they are more artistically inclined, in one of the many chairs in the space’s art classroom, an area lined with plug-friendly workspaces fitted for setting up sewing machines, laptops for photo editing, or any other art project requiring electricity. Even when classes aren’t taking place, however, artists can stop by to use the area as a personal studio, taking advantage of storage lockers for their own supplies or other supplies provided by Mid-City Artisans.
With a refrigerator and sink nearby, the Art Learning Center also functions as a meeting area, traditional classroom, or venue for exhibitions, with moveable hanging panels serving as both dividers for the room and backdrops for artwork you won’t find in the main gallery. George also plans to complete his office space upstairs so that he will be present to answer questions or assist any artists working in the studio space.
“We’ve had so many requests from women’s groups or parents for more classes or private party opportunities, so we’re also excited to see this crossing into the events side of the business,” says George.
Events this month are already kicking off: Tomorrow, January 7, Mid-City Artisans will host the latest installment in its Friday Night Art & Wine series, during which visitors can stop by for a sip and stay to see visiting artists discuss their work. On Saturday, January 29, the Art Learning Center will host an “Altered Junk Indoor Market” filled with vintage and vintage-inspired pieces from local makers.